Press Release 12.06.2024

WHO calls for stricter regulation of big food industry

foodwatch: Next European Commission must hold junk food industry to account

In a report published today, the World Health Organisation (WHO) urgently calls for a greater regulation of the food industry. Together with tobacco, alcohol and fossil fuels, ultra processed foods are responsible for 2.7 million deaths per year in Europe, according to the WHO. Natacha Cingotti of the international consumer organization foodwatch said: 

"The big food industry shares a significant responsibility for malnutrition and related diseases such as type 2 diabetes and fatal cardiovascular diseases. Instead of offering healthy products, ‘big food’ does the opposite out of greed for ever increasing profits: in the style of the tobacco lobby, it sows doubt about the harmfulness of its products, engages in aggressive marketing, especially to children and young people, and undermines health protection legislation. 

At a crucial time of EU institutional renewal, the new World Health Organisation report is an alarm signal and a clear mandate to political leaders: the EU Commission, member states and European Parliament must finally act at the level of the health crisis and hold the junk food industry to account. Under the new term, some priority regulatory measures include making the Nutri-Score traffic light an EU-wide mandatory nutritional labelling system, introducing a soda tax on sugary drinks, restricting children's advertising for unhealthy products, and getting tough on the harmful food additives used in ultra-processed food. Appeals and voluntary commitments by the industry alone will not get us anywhere!" 
More Information: 
World Health Organisation: Just four industries cause 2.7 million deaths in the European Region every year. New WHO report highlights how big industry fuels chronic diseases, obstructs health policy and targets vulnerable people.